The kids and Euan all fared very well while I was gone, I arrived home around 6pm to find peace and quiet and pretty much everyone staring at screens, and Euan sleeping peacefully. My house was a complete bombsite and everyone was starving hungry waiting for their tea, but I got my day off, and it really was a day off. For those hours I relinquished most of my responsibility and managed to relax and enjoy myself. It was a very welcome break.
I got a lift down with Sim from SimsLife (and her Dad - thank you!), so we were there bright and early around 9.30am. People were already arriving and somehow I ended up ticking people off and handing out badges. I loved it because I hadn't met very many bloggers, and it gave me a chance to get to know who people were, and at least say 'Hiya' to some of my favourites. I even nicked a few badges people left behind (I'm not a stalker - honest). I loved that everyone drew their own - it really showed personality, and nerves! I won't tell you who spelt their own name wrong....
We were given an introduction by Laura from Tired Mummy Of Two, who is the main organiser of this event and clearly did a cracking job.We were treated to a great presentation about photography by John Arnold, which I found amazingly useful, absolutely tons of tips and hints. We were set a challenge to take a photo using lines to draw the eye and rule of thirds. My entry was the next photo below, which I'm still gutted didn't even get a mention in the round up!
Session 1 on Building Relationships arrived very quickly and it was hosted by a familiar face, Dan from Push On, along with Cat from Yellow Days blog and Liz from Cambridge Mummy blog.
It was great to hear about all the errors people make talking to PR's and get plenty of advice about what other bloggers think is fair treatment.
Then it was lunchtime with beverages and food-a-plenty, including the fabulous cake - which was demolished and was also very nice.
Laithwaites were also there.....sampled here by Heather from Not From Lapland
Session 2 after lunch was on Beautiful Blogging and was hosted by two of my personal favourite bloggers, for whom have a huge amount of respect - Annie Mammasaurus and Helen from Actually Mummy.
I don't know if it was because Helen immediately realised who I was and asked about my partner and then told Annie who jumped up and gave me a big hug, or if I'm just a div, but I didn't take any pictures!
We were given loads of useful information about how to make your blog look more attractive, and get the best from photo tags and headers and loads more. We were also treated to some gorgeous fudge with a red heart through the centre that had been hand-made by Helen herself.
That session over and we had time to mingle again and buy raffle and tombola tickets. A sample of vodka and delicious mixers from the Sodastream table and a walk past the Swizzles Matlow table to catch a breath of that special sweetie shop smell. We also managed to catch an impromptu photography session in the stairwell....
|A Mummy Too photographing Mammasaurus and Actually Mummy|
My 3rd session was Law & Lies, which was hosted by Rahul Titus, Tanya Mummy Barrow and Emily A Mummy Too.
This was fascinating, as there has been so much talk about disclosure recently that it was really good to hear people thrash it out and get a clear idea of exactly what is, and what is not, acceptable and legal.
After the session there was more time to clean out the Tombola and sample another wine before the speeches. John chose his winning photo and Laura didn't cry - even when Pippa Red Rose Mummy and Sim gave her a present (Spa Day!) from all of us bloggers to say 'thank you' for organising.
Then it was out into the big hall again for the raffle in aid of CLIC Sargent. I did very well. I have a huge pile of stuff from the tombola, and in the raffle I managed to win a family ticket to the Little Fun Fest, along with t-shirts (which are exactly the right sizes for my partner, little boys and me - how weird!) and a mug. It'll be a brilliant day out, I'm well chuffed.
Needless to say, I had a great day. I really did. I didn't cry, and I didn't spend all day fretting about how it was going at home. I actually had a day to be me, with no-one clinging to my skirt or fighting with their siblings, or demanding I go and talk to them while they had a wee. I got to dress up and spend the day talking to people who don't need a 3000 word explanation about 'what you do on the internet'. It was great.....when's the next one?
This photo was taken by the fabulously multi-talented A Mummy Too ~ Emily.
I'm NOT the tall gorgeous one on the left
A MASSIVE Thank You to MOSI ~ The Museum Of Science And Industry ~ for allowing us the use of such a fantastic venue, and for all of the brands and sponsors for making it possible.